If I eat another bagel I might die. I won’t actually die. But I might pass out from boredom, salt, dairy and carbohydrate overload. It’s what I eat for breakfast too many days a week. Why? Because it costs a buck fifty and I can purchase it on the way to work from the ground floor of my office building without having to do much thinking.
Still, I think bagels are slowly killing my insides and my soul and I’m constantly searching for something else to eat for breakfast. If the stars happen to align (meaning I go to sleep early, happen to have leftover salmon in the fridge and remember to actually do this) I try and make a Japanese breakfast for myself. One that has roasted salmon, usually some sushi rice and a vegetable. Or in this case, one that has salmon, tofu and snow peas with a smoky bonito stock broth.
Think protein shakes are disgusting? Me too. Scoop of protein plus dairy plus ice plus nut butter equals a sad sack breakfast. I’ve just had a look at my disgusting jar of protein powder and its nutrition facts promise 20 grams of protein. If you take into consideration the nutrition facts from a typical silken tofu brand like Nasoya, you’re looking at 4 grams per serving. And for this Japanese power breakfast, you’re going to eat two servings of silken tofu. Oh, did you forget the salmon? A small 3 ounce filet packs as much as 24 grams! That’s way more than you need to pump iron or even get through your morning L Train commute. So readers, ditch the protein shake, broil some salmon and enjoy this scary delicious breakfast tomorrow. While the bonito stock truly MAKES this dish there are a number of substitutes you can use. Any Japanese style broth will do. Maybe you have a bottle of soba noodle soup base lying around? Or you can simply use watered down soy sauce.
Oh and you must absolutely use silken or extremely soft tofu. The package is usually labeled with some sort of desert or milkshake icon. This is the lightest tofu that has the consistency of jello pudding. It’s very delicate both in flavor and texture and a spoon will slice right through it. If you use medium firm or extra firm tofu this breakfast will be gross and you will likely leave a nasty comment below.
Japanese Breakfast Recipe with Salmon, Snow Peas and Tofu
1 lb. very cold silken tofu (or two servings of 6 ounces)
4 ounces fresh salmon (order 1/4 lb. from your fishmonger)
salt and pepper
10-15 snow peas
1 tablespoon sesame oil.
2 tablespoons bonito stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon warm water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1. Start with precooked salmon or follow these instructions to cook a raw filet: preheat the broiler in your oven. Coat the salmon lightly in salt and pepper and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for 5 minutes or until it starts to char. Turn off broiler and allow it to sit in the oven for another 3 minutes. Remove to cool and use a fork to flake the fish into little pieces.
2. Slice the snow peas into 1/4 inch pieces and toss with the sesame seeds, flaked salmon and sesame oil.
3. Whisk the bonito stock, soy sauce and warm water together in a spouted measuring cup.
4. Using extreme caution, gently remove the block of silken tofu from the package and try to hold the whole block in your hand. Use a butter knife to slice off two chucks 3×3 inches and place them carefully in a shallow bowl. You’ll have a bit left over.
5. Divide the salmon and snow pea mixture on top of the tofu and pour 1/2 the bonito stock mixture into each bowl. Eat immediately with a spoon, ensuring that each bite gets a bit of broth, salmon, tofu and snow pea.
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